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By Glen Miller
When your strength of schedule is ranked second in Class 5A, taking advantage of your opportunities to put games in the win column becomes critical.
El Reno High School’s girls basketball team, ranked No.20 at the time, let one of those opportunities slip away last week with a 51-42 road loss at Carl Albert – ranked No.4 in the state.
The loss dropped El Reno to 4-7 on the season and 2-4 in the Suburban Conference standings. Five of the season losses have been to Top 15 teams.
“We’re getting down in the first quarter and then having to fight back in the second and third periods. That’s why we keep running out of gas. That’s what happened against Carl Albert,” said El Reno head coach Renie Whittern.
El Reno fell behind 17-8 after one period against the Titans, one of seven conference teams ranked in the top 20, before EHS rallied in the middle periods. The Indians outscored Carl Albert 17-13 in the second period and played the rival to an 8-7 scoring margin in the third period.
El Reno took a late two-point lead in the fourth quarter, before the game was tied at 42-all. Carl Albert would close the game on a 9-0 run to secure the victory.
El Reno shot 6-of-22 from 2-point range (27 percent) and slipped to 5-of-24 (20 percent) shooting from the 3-point arc. The Indians were 11-of-46 overall for 23 percent, while hitting 15-of-16 free throws for a season-high 93 percent.
Carl Albert held an overall edge in rebounds (24-23) and steals (10-4).
Sheridan Gray led El Reno in scoring with 24 points, but the offensive fell off after that to six other players, all in single digits. Jentri Thompson led that group with five points, followed by Teresa Blurton with four and three each from Sierra Bellymule and Alaney Karty.
Taleigh Davis and Regan Owen each scored two.
Blurton added five rebounds, five assists and two steals to her totals. Thompson posted two boards and two assists, while Gray logged four caroms.
Owen grabbed seven rebounds, while Davis and Allora Bellymule had two each. Karty closed with two steals, a rebound and a dish. Sierra Bellymule added one assist.